Bill Maher on Tuesday made what people on both sides of the aisle will say is an extraordinary prediction coming from a Tea Party hater like him.
Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Maher said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) has a shot at becoming president in 2016 and will be very difficult to beat in the Republican primaries (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER: But if you’re asking about Ted Cruz and being president, I think I, I don't know what her answer was on that, but I think he’s got a shot because I think he has an absolute shot at the nomination. He is definitely going to be the favorite of the people who vote in Republican primaries. I mean, we saw what it looked like last time and the time before. But the problem with the Republican primaries last time for them is that they didn't have a Ted Cruz in there. That's why they went with Mitt Romney. Remember, they tried every other person, every other Republican got a shot at being number one: Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain and Rick Perry…
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Michele Bachmann.
MAHER: …but they were all like even too ridiculous and lame for the Tea Party. But Ted Cruz is a Harvard educated lawyer. He’s not a dummy.
MORGAN: Right, no, Alan Dershowitz sat here and told me one of the brightest students he’d ever had.
MORGAN: So you can't underestimate it.
MAHER: No, you cannot underestimate it, and he knows exactly how to get those people’s votes. He has played it exactly right. He is their hero. He's the guy they think finally stood up to the establishment and did what he said and went to Washington and blah, blah, blah. So he's going to be very difficult to beat in the primaries.
MORGAN: Could it be him against Chris Christie?
MAHER: It probably will be.
MORGAN: Who will prevail?
MAHER: You know, if it's the primary voters who vote every time, I think it’ll be Ted Cruz. Chris Christie may already be toast because during Hurricane Sandy, he put his arm around President Blackenstein, Piers.
MAHER: I mean, he's already got Kenya cooties. He may not be able to run at all. So, yeah he's suspect. He’s from the northeast and he’s once in a while said things that make sense. So, I mean.
MORGAN: Instantly rule him out.
MAHER: Yeah, he could be ruled out already.
It is indeed fascinating that despite how many liberal media members totally despise Cruz, they see him as a serious presidential candidate.